- A new Bank of America survey shows a spike in people planning to have a baby in the coming year.
- It’s more evidence that a millennial baby boom is coming, which is good news for retailers.
- But some experts predict that people are just playing catch-up after delaying having kids.
Early signs point to 2022 being the year of the baby boom.
After years of warnings about declining birth rates in the US and heated debate over whether it’s a boon for the economy or not, there are early signs that the tide may be turning: A new Bank of America survey shows a spike in people planning to have a baby in the coming year.
BofA Global Research surveyed roughly 1,000 people between December 8 and December 14 about their spending expectations for 2022, and babies appear to be docket for many Americans. The survey found that 13.2% of respondents are trying or expecting to have a baby in the next 12 months, which is higher than any other time in the last year.
The findings add evidence to the theory that a millennial baby boom is just around the corner. BofA data from November showed that pregnancy test sales are on the rise, jumping 13% between June 2020 and October 2021, compared to just 2% from 2016 to 2019. And live births increased 3.3% in June 2021, marking positive growth for the first time since August 2017, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And BofA predicts that all the spending that goes along with having a baby could spell good news for retailers.
The US baby products market is estimated at $1.7 billion, according to market research firm Global Industry Analysts and millennials hold the most purchasing power in the American economy — the millennial generation, which include people between the ages of 25 and 40, is the largest in the US.
A baby boom would most benefit grocery chains, big-box stores, and warehouse clubs, since they offer products like diapers, baby food, formula, and strollers. Target, Walmart, Kroger, and Dollar General are most likely to profit from a baby boom, Insider’s Mary Hanbury reported.
Plus, those stores are most likely to be located in the suburbs, which are increasingly luring young people.
But some experts have warned not to get too excited just yet about prospect of a rising birth rate. Demographer Jennifer D. Sciubba told Insider’s Hillary Hoffower in December that the increases in pregnancy test sales and the number of couples expecting are actually just people playing catch-up after pandemic-induced delays.
“I would guess that’s exactly what those two data points mean: Some people delayed, and now they’re done delaying,” she told Insider.